Time for a (newbie) reality check? - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-05-2001, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 591
Time for a (newbie) reality check?

There seems to be a fair amount of folks visiting the ‘Net who are interested in getting into motorcycling, so maybe it’s time for some of us to help them with a reality check. For my part, might I recommend:
1. First, and most important, decide what you want to do with your bike/what kind of future you envision for yourself within the motorcycling world.
2. Now start asking for advice (what bike, style, etc and why).
3. Determine if the person giving advice is simply enamored with the latest/greatest, or has taken a step or two back to view motorcycling and bikes with a bit more critical eye.
I’ve seen folks in here recommend newbies get 929s/R1s/Hayabusas, etc for their first bike. I find those recommendations pretty darn amazing, and potentially life-threatening. True, if you’re an extremely level-headed individual, maybe you can pull off buying a big bore sportbike as your first ride, but I don’t seem to run across very many newbies that appear to be level-headed (though I’m sure there are ‘some’ out there).
If you gotta have a sportbike (I can empathize), be prepared to shell out some $$$ for the inevitable body damage you’ll suffer from those learning falls (hopefully of the parking lot variety). While a first bike without bodywork would probably be a good choice, I can understand not wanting the additional expense of trading bikes after your learning curve starts to flatten a bit. It would be nice to get your bike choice right the first time, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t turn out that way.

Now that you’ve decided what you want to do with your bike (race/run around town/travel a bit), start asking for advice. If your plans include seeing a bit of the world from your bike, do you really need the radical seating position of what seems to be the hot ticket by those cruising the main drags around town? Even if you think all you want to do is ride around town, don’t be surprised if you find in the future you want to expand your motorcycling horizons a bit. If so, how’s that ‘gotta have’ ride all your buddies said you had to have going to work out? In the past, I had to cut loose a few folks I rode with (none of whom I think are any longer riding) as after zinging around town (what felt like) a few million times, I felt the need to explore a bit. Since I couldn’t get those I rode with interested (they seemed content to stay within their own little world), I had to hit the road by myself. It’s unfortunate they sold motorcycling short, for if not, perhaps they’d still be riding/enjoying motorcycling today.

Now that you’ve decided what you want to do with your bike, and are actively seeking advice, it’s time to size up the person dishing it out. Are their recommendations made with your intended use of your bike in mind, or is he/she just steering you to what they consider the hot ticket? If you think you’d like to see the world from your bike, do they travel with theirs or are they the around town type? If you want to race/stick close to home, are you going to ask someone who does Iron Butt rides for advice? If the person dishing out advice doesn’t use their bike as you think you’d like to use yours, maybe it’s time to consider looking for recommendations elsewhere?

The floor is now open for discussion…
basicblur is offline  
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-05-2001, 03:23 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 194
Good post I would have loved to had a R6 or a F4i as my first bike but common sense and lack of $$$ helped me make a good decision for my first bike. I will probably learn more from my 250 than a 600 plus it's a great confidence builder. Although I am not a guy so....I have no issues with riding a smaller bike

BTW, people have this tendency with any sport. They always want the biggest and most powerful. I used to teach English riding and the newbies always wanted to buy a big, beautiful horse that could jump huge fences and then would get hurt on this horse because their skills weren't at that level. Instead they should have bought a trusty old school horse that knew more then they did. Same story with the bikes just a different kind of ride
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-05-2001, 04:44 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 546
Re: Time for a (newbie) reality check?

Quote:
Originally posted by basicblur
There seems to be a fair amount of folks visiting the ‘Net who are interested in getting into motorcycling, so maybe it’s time for some of us to help them with a reality check. For my part, might I recommend:
1. First, and most important, decide what you want to do with your bike/what kind of future you envision for yourself within the motorcycling world.
2. Now start asking for advice (what bike, style, etc and why).
3. Determine if the person giving advice is simply enamored with the latest/greatest, or has taken a step or two back to view motorcycling and bikes with a bit more critical eye.
I’ve seen folks in here recommend newbies get 929s/R1s/Hayabusas, etc for their first bike. I find those recommendations pretty darn amazing, and potentially life-threatening. True, if you’re an extremely level-headed individual, maybe you can pull off buying a big bore sportbike as your first ride, but I don’t seem to run across very many newbies that appear to be level-headed (though I’m sure there are ‘some’ out there).
If you gotta have a sportbike (I can empathize), be prepared to shell out some $$$ for the inevitable body damage you’ll suffer from those learning falls (hopefully of the parking lot variety). While a first bike without bodywork would probably be a good choice, I can understand not wanting the additional expense of trading bikes after your learning curve starts to flatten a bit. It would be nice to get your bike choice right the first time, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t turn out that way.

Now that you’ve decided what you want to do with your bike (race/run around town/travel a bit), start asking for advice. If your plans include seeing a bit of the world from your bike, do you really need the radical seating position of what seems to be the hot ticket by those cruising the main drags around town? Even if you think all you want to do is ride around town, don’t be surprised if you find in the future you want to expand your motorcycling horizons a bit. If so, how’s that ‘gotta have’ ride all your buddies said you had to have going to work out? In the past, I had to cut loose a few folks I rode with (none of whom I think are any longer riding) as after zinging around town (what felt like) a few million times, I felt the need to explore a bit. Since I couldn’t get those I rode with interested (they seemed content to stay within their own little world), I had to hit the road by myself. It’s unfortunate they sold motorcycling short, for if not, perhaps they’d still be riding/enjoying motorcycling today.

Now that you’ve decided what you want to do with your bike, and are actively seeking advice, it’s time to size up the person dishing it out. Are their recommendations made with your intended use of your bike in mind, or is he/she just steering you to what they consider the hot ticket? If you think you’d like to see the world from your bike, do they travel with theirs or are they the around town type? If you want to race/stick close to home, are you going to ask someone who does Iron Butt rides for advice? If the person dishing out advice doesn’t use their bike as you think you’d like to use yours, maybe it’s time to consider looking for recommendations elsewhere?

The floor is now open for discussion…

Next time see if you can publish that novel
qbclub13 is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-05-2001, 06:44 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 162
To be honest alot of people come on this site and ask for advice on which bike to buy first, Now we all know that a smaller engined bike is better to learn on we all realise that.. I wonder though just how many people actually take our advice ??? When i bought my first bike it was a 50cc when i was 16 then when i passed my test at 17 i bought a 125cc cos at 17 years old i had a limited amount of money however if i could have at 17 spent 3 or 4 thousand pound or more on a bike i'm sure i would have bought the fastest bike i could have afforded, The point im makeing is i don't think many of the people on this site are 17 years old and can't afford decent bikes i think alot not all but alot of people on this site are slightly older than 17 and can afford a decent bike and nowadays even a 6 or 7 year old 600cc can do the best part of 150 mph.... I think most people go into a bike shop and pick the bike they want weather it's the right bike for them or not and all you can do is wish them good luck and hope to hear from them again........ Just my opinion
"bladerunner" is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2001, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 591
Quote:
Originally posted by jjcm
Good post Although I am not a guy so....I have no issues with riding a smaller bike
Hey, most women I meet on the road make better bike choices than a lot (a LOT) of guys! I'd be willing to bet a lot (all?) of these women will still be riding their excellent choices and enjoying motorcycling long after many of the folks that just have to have the baddest thing on the road have wandered off the deep end (assuming they survive) in some other endeavor.
I particularly like the post from someone recommending a newbie get something bigger than a 600cc bike as he'd "outgrow" it soon. I believe his reasoning was after he honed his skills, he had graduated to wheelies, stoppies, and burnouts! Now I'll grant you, I have no real problem practicing wheelies and stoppies, as you may encounter both in the 'normal' operation of your bike (my little old 600 wheelies out of a few curves through Deals Gap if you hit the gas at the right RPM when picking the bike up quickly, even when in vacation mode!), but I have yet to see any reason for burnouts (and how much skill is really required to do a burnout?). I'm just wondering now that the poster has "outgrown" his 600 how long it will be before he outgrows burnouts?

BTW, if/when you decide to go bigger than your 250, check out the following articles:
Two Unlikely Bedfellows
Inline-four vs. V-four Sport Touring (2001 VFR 800 vs. 2001 ZX-6R)
http://motorcycle.com/mo/mccompare/...g/01vfr6r.motml
2001.5 SuperSport Comparo
The Best of the Rest (Yamaha YZF-R6 vs. Kawasaki ZX-6R vs. Triumph TT600)
http://motorcycle.com/mo/mccompare/01600/016002.motml

Hey, you may not like ANY of the bikes they do, but mebbe these folks will give you a few things to think about when you make your next purchase. Unlike most testers, after doing the usual more/better/faster thing, they toss in a dose of reality for those of us who actually have to live with our choices. Nick Ienatsch used to be known for the same when he wrote for Motorcyclist/Sport Rider.
basicblur is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2001, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 591
Re: Re: Time for a (newbie) reality check?

Quote:
Originally posted by qbclub13



Next time see if you can publish that novel
Won't have to. I figure there are enough folks on the 'Net who haven't figured out how to snip quotes during replies that it'll get a lot more circulation by those just hitting the reply button!

Last edited by basicblur; 11-06-2001 at 12:40 AM.
basicblur is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2001, 12:45 AM
blz
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5
Re: Time for a (newbie) reality check?

I wanted to thank most of you for posting useful newbie tips. I started reading sportbikeworld about 4 months ago to get some info on sportbiking and how to get into it. I have never owned a bike before but was definately interested. I read most of the forums and tried to educate myself before venturing out on the road and eating someone's bumper.

It has now been 4 months and i finally have my license, i also bought a decent beginner bike (1984 nighthawk 550). I was very eager to buy a cbr600 or something at first, but i followed everyone's advice and got a cruiser type bike to learn on. I figured nobody drives a ferrari as their first car, why learn on a bike that is wickedly fast?

I must say that i enjoy riding my bike right now and have been riding every day on smaller roads around my place. I would recommend any newbie also consider my example, it beats going out and getting into trouble on a crazy fast sportbike.

Come spring, i will also take the racing course offered in my province, i'm hoping this will prepare me for when i do get
a bike with some real power

Thanks all
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2001, 01:46 AM
elo
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,698
Thumbs up

Thank you all for your posts. I'm relieved to hear some voices of reason in here! Finally!

I have come to the conclusion that 75% of the people that come here asking for "advice" already have a bike picked out, and they are looking for justification to go with something common sense tells them to not consider. Oh well. All we can do is continue to offer good advice and hope for their safety.


Again, thank you all!
elo is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2001, 01:46 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 103
I agree that learning on a smaller bike is the best way to go. I did the same, but maybe a little faster than most of you would recommend. The first fall I rode a kawasaki 250. The summer and fall I rode a Maxim 750. The next was the best of course, I had a 95 ZX-11 for the summer. For myself I think that I allowed enough time to learn and get comfortable out on the road. I now own a Suzuki 750 and am happy with it and the way that I ride it. I know I would not be here if the first thing I rode was the ZX-11. How do these beginners with Busa's and R1's even pass the riding exams!?!?!?!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2001, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 591
Quote:
Originally posted by elodello
I have come to the conclusion that 75% of the people that come here asking for "advice" already have a bike picked out, and they are looking for justification...
Life has taught me the old saying is true; most folks spend their lives not trying to learn, but instead trying to justify that which they already believe.

Didn't mean to sound like you absolutely 'couldn't' start out on a sportbike; just that for most folks it's probably not a good idea. Assuming you know the basics (operation of the controls), chances are you're going to dump it a time or two. It can get really irritating scuffing up all that 'spensive bodywork waiting for your learning curve to flatten out.

From personal experience, I taught my EX to ride, and she had some really difficult mental blocks to overcome. She was probably more difficult to teach than those comfortable with mechanical stuff, so we had to take it pretty slow. At the time, I had my Concours and an '85 600 Ninja, so $ being what it is, I decided to try teaching her on my 600 Ninja. Mind you, this woman had no idea what the controls were for at the time! While she didn't dump it, it was obvious she was intimidated by the bike (PICK YOUR FEET UP!) to the point I had to buy a junker just to get her comfortable. Bought a 360 Yamaha (paid way too much at $300), and after getting run off from every parking lot in town, had to put tags/insurance on it and hit the road. After about 1 month on the Yamaha, she was ready for the Ninja, and while still dumping it twice in parking lots (ya gotta lean to the UPHILL side), she had no further problems. Heck, after about a year, I taught her how to ride the Concours, and long/big/topheavy as they are, you'd best not be intimidated easily! She did a number of 700 mile days (on the way/back from Canada), and we often swapped off when on the open road, as the Concours was still a bit much for her to handle in the city.
So...other than the 1 month when she went from complete novice to being comfortable on the Ninja, I'd have to say not too shabby!
'Course, she came into this with no preconceived notions, and absorbed everything like a sponge (well, maybe not the initial lean to the uphill side tip).
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